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In the six months since New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill legalizing the consumption and use of cannabis, New Yorkers from Manhattan to Buffalo have been toking freely on sidewalks, rooftops, stoops, and pretty much anywhere else they please. With the most liberal consumption law across America’s patchwork legalization map, smoking a joint is now akin to puffing a cigarette or cigar. But while you can buy a pack of smokes at any one of the city’s more than 13,000 corner bodegas or convenience stores, there is still nowhere to legally purchase weed.

As Empire State legislators and appointed cannabis authorities work on crafting rules and regulations for grow sites, distributors, manufacturers, dispensaries, and more, New Yorkers are simply sticking to old habits, buying their bud from unregulated dealers selling weed sourced from California, Oregon, Canada, and wherever else they can find it for a profitable price. And with minor distribution crimes reduced to a simple ticket and not a full-fledged arrest after legalization, it is a relatively risk-free time to be a small-time weed dealer in the Big Apple.

In fact, the risk is so low, that some entrepreneurial sellers have set up shop in one of Manhattan’s most famous hubs, Washington Square Park. According to the New York Post, the vendors who regularly set up at the park selling clothing, home goods, jewelry, and the like have been joined by new sellers openly peddling eights, ounces, pre-rolls, edibles, and other cannabis goods.

“Honestly, it’s great,” a 19-year-old NYU student told the Post after buying two joints from a vendor’s table. “I don’t love to roll my own, so the convenience is awesome, and also the novelty of it — an open-air cannabis market in New York.”

For most states that legalize weed, there is a months or years-long waiting period between when legalization is implemented for cannabis consumers and the opening of fully licensed dispensaries. During that period, most if not all states have seen a prominent grey market marijuana industry emerge. These sellers are not licensed by their home state, but due to slap on the wrist penalties for peddling pot and some glaring loopholes in various state laws, suppliers have taken advantage of legalization’s leniency without any of the paperwork or red tape. Like anything that sounds too good to be true though, grey market marijuana dealers have also drawn the attention of regulators and law enforcement officers.

In Washington D.C., weed has been legal since 2015, but thanks to Congressional control of the city budget, federal legislators have prevented the Capitol from creating any sort of regulated industry for cannabis. In addition to growing their own flower, the District allows residents and visitors to gift each other cannabis. With that rule in mind, a local economy has emerged in which customers purchase over-priced gifts like t-shirts, smoothies, or cookies that come with a “gift” of cannabis. Of course, the size of that gift is factored into the price, but as long as money isn’t exchanged directly for cash, it is technically legal.

“I believe we are following the letter and the spirit of the law,” Andrew House, who started a gift economy business selling t-shirts paired with ‘free’ weed told the Washington Post in 2015. “There’s this gap period where there is no retail and there is no regulation. My purpose is to step into that in-between time when there won’t be enough marijuana for adults to use recreationally and allow for the legal transfer under the initiative.”

D.C. police have made a few efforts to curtail the grey market, but without a licensed market to replace it, those enforcement attempts haven’t stopped the gift economy from thriving. In nearby Virginia, cannabis was legalized earlier this year, but dispensary sales will not start until 2024. To prevent a D.C.-like gift economy from sprouting in the Old Dominion, legislators passed a follow-up bill banning any cannabis gifting that is paired with a transaction of any kind.

Across the country in California, unlicensed dispensaries have long rubbed shoulders with their fully-legal counterparts. In Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, those dispensaries have remained open years into the state’s legal operation. Unlike tourists in New York or Washington D.C. though, California smokers have fully legal and taxed options to buy their pot, but shopping at grey market dispensaries saves buyers money and allows unlicensed growers and distributors a place to move their product. State and local cops have routinely raided unlicensed pot shops and the illicit grow sites that supply them, but despite millions spent on interdiction, new farms and dispensaries tend to pop up just as quickly as old ones are shut down.

Back in New York City, the Post decried the Washington Square weed dealers as a blight on a park filled with families and tourists. Reporters from the paper did not interview any parkgoers who had a problem with the entrepreneurial stoners, but after publishing their initial story, the paper reported a follow up with the headline “NYPD to crack down on Washington Square Park weed dealers after Post story.” Cops said they have issued over a dozen summons and made multiple arrests for the open cannabis vending.

“Any individuals selling cannabis or marijuana products in these unlicensed dispensaries, pop-up shops or markets is not licensed, nor are they selling safe, tested products,” state Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright said during a meeting earlier this month. “There is no gray market in New York state. This conduct is not legal and must stop.”

Cops may eventually push dealers out of public parks, but until there are enough dispensaries to supply the entire state’s cannabis demand at a reasonable price, the grey market will continue to thrive and supply smokers with their legal-to-consume smoke.